Many people would assume publishing industry professionals get paid handsomely for their contributions to literature (and by extension, television and film through adaptations of their work), but that isn't always the case. One author, writer Brandon Sanderson, has decided to change the game.
On March 1, 2022, Brandon's Kickstarter promising four "secret novels" and more was unveiled, with a goal of $1 million. Since then, the campaign has raised over $18 million and counting, an enormous sum of money beyond the expectations of the author or campaign. What are fans getting out of this event? Here's the scoop.
Brandon Sanderson created a Kickstarter to fundraise for four secret novels that he wrote over the past two years.
Brandon, like several other sci-fi and fantasy authors, has generated an enormous output in his career. He has his own book publishing imprint, Dragonsteel Entertainment, although his first published books were traditionally published by Tor Books. By the time Brandon completed graduate school in 2004, he had written 12 unpublished novels.
For those unfamiliar with Brandon's works, he's written several epic fantasy series and contributed to others. His first published series, the Mistborn series, is an epic fantasy where characters possess the ability to burn or manipulate metals. Brandon was also chosen to finish The Wheel of Time series by Robert Jordan after Robert's passing. He was hand-selected by Robert's wife and editor.
Brandon has also written a series of science-fiction novellas known as the Legion series and several other high fantasy series contained within a universe known as Cosmere. These book series are The Stormlight Archive, White Sand, Warbreaker, and Elantris. He has also written children's books, including Alcatraz Versus the Evil Librarians.
In addition to his contributions to science-fiction and fantasy, his "Sanderson's laws of magic" are a popular way to world build. The concept is used to create magic systems in fantasy books and describes either "hard magic," a system with a rigid magical structure, or "soft magic," a system that may not have clearly defined rules or limitations.
On March 1, 2022, Brandon released a YouTube video titled "It's Time to Come Clean," that revealed his intentions to launch a Kickstarter for four secret novels that he wrote over the past two years. The campaign is officially titled "Surprise! Four Secret Novels by Brandon Sanderson" and promises three 400-page novels set in Cosmere and one entirely different new novel.
Backers of the Kickstarter will receive one new book every quarter of 2023, with reward tiers that allow high-priced backers to sign up for eight subscription boxes that include merchandise. In the video, Sanderson reveals the project initially started as a gift to his wife but developed into something more during the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Surprise! Four Secret Novels by Brandon Sanderson” will run until March 31, 2022, 7 p.m. EST.